1 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Simmons & Simmons…

1 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Simmons & Simmons has acted as English and United States legal adviser to CLSA Limited in its role as global coordinator, lead manager and bookrunner in international offerings of convertible bonds by Essar Oil Limited and Essar Shipping Limited, and of global depositary receipts by Essar Projects Limited. The three transactions raised a total of US$300 million.

The three issuers are part of India’s Essar Group, a large conglomerate involved in steel, telecommunications, oil and gas, shipping, construction and other investments. The offerings will help fund the construction of a domestic refinery and related terminal and port facility, and have been carried out concurrently with a major debt restructuring with the companies’ senior creditors under India’s regulatory, non-judicial corporate debt restructuring regime. Construction on the projects was halted in June 1998 as a result of damage caused by a tropical cyclone on India’s west coast.

The offerings were led by partner David Neuville and associates Steve Kim, Simon Phillips and Peter Kwon. Partner Sean Bulmer represented the trustee for both convertible bonds, The Bank of New York. All partners and associates are based in Simmons & Simmons’ Hong Kong office.

David Neuville commented:

“These transactions involved a novel, and challenging, coordination of the Indian domestic corporate debt restructuring and international capital markets financing processes. We are delighted to have worked with CLSA on the international side of the transactions.

These offerings also bring to a close a year in which Simmons & Simmons has made great strides in the regionalisation of our international capital markets practice in Asia. In the last 12 months, we have acted as Hong Kong, English and United States legal advisers to Asian issuers and international underwriters in offerings of equity, equity-linked and debt securities raising over US$1.3 billion in capital for companies based in India, Taiwan and in our traditional strongholds of China and Hong Kong.”

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